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Dodge Journey pulls to the right

My 2011 Dodge Journey, V-6, auto, awd, pulls hard to the right on hard acceleration. It always pulls just as the transmission shifts. My dealer’s service manager said its due to the front drive shafts being different lengths and torgueing differently. I’m not certain I’m ready to buy that as I haven’t seen or heard of anyone else having this problem. Any solutions.


The first step would be to test drive another 2011 Journey on their lot and see if it behaves the same way. Granted, I think pretty much every FWD car I have seen has unequal drive shafts in the front, and none of them have pulled to any side-unless when they have had alignment issues.

You’re describing torque steer and that can be normal on some FWD vehicles with some being more prone to it than others.

For a more detailed explanation here’s a link.

Google Torque steer.

Excellent posts both, and a great link by OK4450.

As suggested in the details of the link OK4450 attached, there is one thing that can help. Alignment. The ends of your steering rack are connected to links that connect it to the steering knuckles. If the vehicle was aligned at some point without having the steering wheel centered, the articulated joints in the ends of the steering links may not be in the correct place to allow the arc that the ends of the links travel to be consistant with the arc steering knuckles move through as the suspension deconpresses due to weight transfer, That can induce steering inputs.

While this is not considered a primary cause of torque steering, it is important to check the alignment to be sure the links from the rack to the steering knuckles are the same length on each side. There are too many techs that don;t bother to center the steering rack before doing the toe in.

By the way, in vehicle with the styling of yours, I’m not convinced that enough consideration is given to the location of the rack relative to the A-frames and the resulting arcs that the steering link and the steering knuckle travel when the suspension decompresses under hard acceleration. That, I believe, might be why torque steer (which would actually be mislabeled if my theory is correct) is more common amongst some styles of vehicole than others.

I know, I know. But that’s my theory. Crazy perhaps, but happy to be here. I welcome any and all debate on my theory.

Yes, it sounds like torque steer.
And, yes, many FWD vehicles are prone to torque steer. My first FWD car, a Chevy Citation, had a really vicious amount of torque steer.

However, the OP told us that this vehicle has AWD.
I don’t know about other AWD vehicles, but none of my Subarus has ever exhibited torque steer, even when I floor the gas pedal.

I don’t know the details of the AWD system on a Dodge Journey, but I suppose that IF it is one of the ones that usually runs in FWD mode, and only switches to AWD after detecting wheel slippage, then it is possible that this is normal for that vehicle.

What type of AWD system do they use on this vehicle?

Heavy torque steer is a sign of poor design and engineering. All FWD cars will exhibit some torque steer in severe situations, but it should not be a big factor in light to moderate acceleration.

The Dodge Journey is not the most sophisticated design so some torque steer is expected on this car. You might notice it more on moderate and heavy acceleration especially on uneven pavement.

Your AWD Journey is really FWD most of the time on dry and wet pavement. The V6 generates good power which will make whatever inherent torque steer in the vehicle more pronounced. Basically, this is what your car does. Perhaps some different tires and alignment set up might reduce the condition, but it isn’t ever going away.

Thanks for all the input. I don’t feel any pull at normal or moderate acceleration. It’s only on the rare occasion that I floor it (passing, etc.) that I feel the car pull to the right. Although an AWD, the car is driven mostly by the front wheels most of the time (percentage varies with speed or if slipping is detected).

I think torque steer is likely the problem. This is the first FWD or AWD car I’ve owned with this much power (it out-accelerates a couple of older V-8’s I’ve owned), so torque steer is a new sensation.